It’s New Year – again – and as the old year slipped away a number of projects reached completion. Now 2015 stretches before me like new note-book.

A new year, a new project. Well, it’s not exactly new. This one has been incubating for a while now. It’s my first full length foray into the world of fiction – for the sake of argument I’m calling it fiction. A spin-off from The Stain of Time, it is a complete retelling of the past life story which I always felt deserved far more of my time and attention that the bare bones airing it got first time round.

As a stand alone project it matters not at all whether readers believe in past lives and more particularly, whether they accept this is the tale of a life that was once lived by Trent Reznor. From the outset there was no doubt in my mind that the whole past life thing would be a hard sell, and so The Stain of Time was never meant to be anything but a means to an end – a way to pass along some information to Mr Reznor when all other attempts had failed.

Although for some of us reincarnation is unquestionable, there are many others that come hard-wired with disbelief. Those naysayers are more than content to ascribe their fear and phobias to any number of unknown causes, but rarely can they be persuaded to consider they may have roots in a past life. And so the new project, Claude’s Story, is being presented as a work of fiction.

It’s been a while in the making, picked up and put down so many times I wasn’t sure I’d ever complete it. Why has it taken so long to shake the dust off the notebooks and put the proverbial pen to paper? Perhaps it is that I couldn’t pick it up again without revisiting my own past – recent past, that is.

During the years since The Stain of Time was first published there have been a great many changes in my life. Changes of residence, relationships, points of view and perspectives and a variety of other projects to keep me busy. However, there comes a time when the nudge becomes too strong so here we at last with Claude’s Story.


All talk – time for action

I’m an ideas person. A planner, a thinker, a schemer, a dreamer. I’m never short of business ideas, cunning plans or innovative marketing ploys. At the plotting stage my blood runs hot and I’m fit to bust with enthusiasm. It’s when the time comes to actually execute the plan that I’m not so keen. The nuts and bolts of it all bores me. Rarely does a plan come to fruition and so I continue to roll along in what is becoming an ever deeper rut.
As much as I wish it were different, I’m not motivated by money, job security or pensions. Whenever I’ve tried to reconcile job satisfaction with financial commitments I’ve approached the search for a ‘proper’ job with all the zeal of a terrier on the trail of a rat. Fired up by the thought of a regular paycheck I research the company, beef up my CV and go into the interview prepared to dazzle. But it has become increasingly obvious that whatever my initial motive it is the chase that is my prize. Should the phone call come that offers me the so fiercely contended position, it is a bittersweet moment – I’m elated that I secured the prize but deflated that now I actually have to do the job. And so I work for myself. But let’s face it, neither horses nor writing are going to make me rich and so when the coffers need topping up I take a minimum wage/no responsibility job. This way if I should start to dread going to work I’m not going to feel I can’t quit – I won’t be letting anyone down and the money isn’t enough to hold me somewhere no longer want to be.
However, my working MO has been scuppered by the current economic climate and ‘top up’ jobs are scarcer than hen’s teeth meaning my writing projects are going to have to pull their financial weight. It’s unlikely that I’ll ever write something that is commercially viable but if I can reach a good proportion of my niche audience just maybe I can keep the wolf from the door.
They say that when the student is ready the master will appear, well, by happy coincidence earlier this year Trent Reznor posted on the Nine Inch Nails website his ‘ew Business Model for Independent Artistes’.
I believe Mr Reznor is a master schemer himself. The difference is that he actually acts on his plans, granting him undeniable success. So even though his advice was aimed towards musicians, with a new project underway I’m taking his advice on board Will it work as well for procrastinators writers? We’ll see.